The Cairo Trilogy, Volume 3
By Naguib Mahfouz
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780307947123, 336pp.)
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Sugar Street is the final novel in Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mahfouz’s magnificent Cairo Trilogy, an epic family saga of colonial Egypt that is considered his masterwork.
The novels of the Cairo Trilogy trace three generations of the family of tyrannical patriarch al-Sayyid Ahmad Abd al-Jawad, who rules his household with a strict hand while living a secret life of self-indulgence. Sugar Street brings Mahfouz’s vivid tapestry of an evolving Egypt to a dramatic climax as the aging patriarch sees one grandson become a Communist, one a Muslim fundamentalist, and one the lover of a powerful politician. Filled with compelling drama, earthy humor, and remarkable insight, Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy is the achievement of a master storyteller.
Translated by William Maynard Hutchins and Angele Botros Samaan
Naguib Mahfouz was born in Cairo in 1911 and began writing when he was seventeen. A student of philosophy and an avid reader, his works range from reimaginings of ancient myths to subtle commentaries on contemporary Egyptian politics and culture. Over a career that lasted more than five decades, he wrote 33 novels, 13 short story anthologies, numerous plays, and 30 screenplays. Of his many works, most famous is The Cairo Trilogy, consisting of Palace Walk (1956), Palace of Desire (1957), and Sugar Street (1957), which focuses on a Cairo family through three generations, from 1917 until 1952. In 1988, he became the first writer in Arabic to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He died in August 2006.
“A masterful kaleidoscope of emotions, ideas, and perspective. Mahfouz has captured a family and its homeland at one gloriously varied moment in a cycle.” —Newsday
“Mahfouz’s characters blaze with intensity, his Egypt pulsates with unresolved tension.” —The Atlanta Constitution
“A resonant tour de force, a superbly written novel. One of the most enjoyable books of recent memory.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Mahfouz presents us with a different concept of the world and makes it real. His genius is not just that he shows us Egyptian colonial society in all its complexity; it is that he makes us look through the vision of his vivid characters and see people and ideas that no longer seem so alien.” —Philadelphia Inquirer